This week in Winning Post

The doubters remained after the Bjorn Baker-trained Samadoubt won the first Group 1 of the season, the Winx Stakes.

They felt the frontrunner couldn't do it again in the Chelmsford, where Avilius was a hot favourite.

But he did, and there should be renewed respect for the six-year-old when he steps out in this Saturday's Colgate Optic White Stakes at Randwick.

There's also Group 1 action at Caulfield, where the Rupert Clarke heads an action-packed card, and in Adelaide it's Tokyo City Cup and Wylie Handicap day. 

Our form coverage kicks off on Friday with full form guides for the meetings at bet365 Park Kyneton and Newcastle (Newcastle Cup day) with fields, colours and tips for Canberra and Ipswich.

The metro racing this Saturday is at Caulfield in Melbourne, Randwick in Sydney, Morphettville in Adelaide, Eagle Farm in Brisbane and Belmont in Perth.

Winning Post carries full-colour liftout guides for all those meetings plus bet365 Tatura (Vic/SA/Tas edition), Newcastle (NSW edition) and Aquis Park Gold Coast (Qld edition), as well as fields, tips, ratings and/or colours for other TAB Saturday cards.

On Sunday we've got liftout formguides for four more TAB meetings including Coleraine Cup day plus fields, ratings, tips and colours for a stack more Sunday and Monday programs.

Don't forget Winning Post now carries trackwork reports for all four Melbourne training tracks, all three in Sydney, Morphettville in Adelaide and a general Brisbane report.

Away from the form, we've got news columns from Queensland, NSW, six Victorian districts, SA and Tasmania.

Our readers have their say on page 4, while further back in the book Shane Templeton reminisces, Paul Richards presents his unique take on the sport, Tony Kneebone brings you his Snippets column and Number Cruncher delivers the stats that matter.

Winning Post costs $5.50 and is available Thursday afternoon in selected Ballarat newsagents, the crack of dawn Friday elsewhere.

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Inside Winning Post September 21 edition you'll find liftout form guides for:
bet365 Park Kyneton, Newcastle
Caulfield, Randwick, Morphettville, Eagle Farm, Belmont, Tatura (Vic/SA/Tas edition), Newcastle (NSW edition), Gold Coast (Qld edition)
Sportsbet-Ballarat, Coleraine, Moree, Devonport
Would you support an additional levy on betting, prizemoney and/or catering when a jockey is seriously injured or killed?
Eye Catchers
Each week Paul Richards identifies horses from recent race meetings that he believes are ready to win. Here we update you when they are about to have their next start.
Flemington Saturday - R1 N7 King of Leogrance 4th
Rosehill Gardens Saturday - R2 N7 Humbolt Current 2nd
Rosehill Gardens Saturday - R8 N11 Dyslexic 4th
Flemington Saturday - R3 N12 La Tene 13th
Flemington Saturday - R6 N2 Spanish Whisper 1st
Letter of the Week

Group 2s and Group 2s

James Cummings was quoted recently as saying that the benchmark 88 field at Rosehill on Saturday August 31 was like a Group 2 in disguise. 
James is a very busy man and might not have been aware of Japan’s 2000-metre Group 2 Sapporo Kinen, run 13 days earlier. 
Cox Plate invitee Kluger contested this race as the equal second-highest rated horse. That inflated rating was the result of a second placing behind Winx but must have ignored the facts that at the time of his arrival in Australia as a seven year-old,  Kluger had contested only one Group 1 race (unsuccessfully), had not won a race for almost three years, and on his 2018 turf rating was listed as equal 101st on the published JRA lists.
That rating was down from the mid 50s in 2017, when he was not affected by fitness issues that apparently arose in 2018. 
So when making his comments James Cummings must have been thinking about the standard of some of our local Group 2s, rather than those of true international quality. 
There were five genuine Group 1 quality horses in the Sapporo Kinen. Not unexpectedly, they were the first five in the betting and the first five home. 
Seventh placing went to Crocosmia, a mare who ran second in each of Japan’s past two Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cups, the latter won by Les Gracieux. 
Not a bad field for a mere Group 2 and it was not surprising to anyone, except perhaps the committee of the Moonee Valley Racing Club, that Kluger only managed to finish eighth. 
The local punters obviously saw through the overgenerous rating assessment of 117, based on Australian benchmarks, because he started at odds equivalent to $44.50. 
Racing Victoria has stated that he will be a Cox Plate starter but it is astounding that have some of our betting agencies have him listed him for the Cox Plate at half the odds that he started at in a Group 2 at his latest start.
For the record, the five horses referred to above were the winner, Blast Onepiece, Fierement Wagnerian, Persian Knight and Sungrazer.
Even allowing for the conservative ratings regime of the Japanese (they have 50 fewer Group 1s than Australia, with none of the Clayton’s variety), the above is just another illustration, if any more were needed, of how far out of step Australian racing can be with its subjective ratings, Winx possibly being the notable exception.


S. Coleman
Glen Iris (Vic)
Today's Racing
Thursday 19 September
Friday 20 September
Saturday 21 September
Social Networking

Paul Richards introduces a fun formula each week designed to come up with the odd winner for those looking for a small interest or to see if systems really work. On this page he subjects Saturday's fields to one of those systems: